Enso, Ltd, doing business as Uchi restaurants, from Austin's own James Beard Award-winning chef and owner, Tyson Cole, has filed a lawsuit claiming trademark infringement against a chain of Japanese and sushi restaurants in South Texas, also named Uchi. The worry, presumably, is that folks will eat at non-Tyson-Cole-approved Uchi locations, expecting Tyson Cole-quality food, and (no disrespect to the South Texas Uchis) probably not get Tyson Cole-quality food there, potentially damaging Cole's good name.
The plaintiffs claim the defendant—a restaurant chain with locations in Brownsville, Harlingen and South Padre Island—is "doing business as 'UCHI' in a form which is the same or substantially similar," to Uchi in Austin and Houston.
In the lawsuit, Cole's group requests the defendant "cease and desist any further use of the term 'UCHI,'" because it "is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to the affiliation, connection, or association" of the two and that the plaintiff has "acquired national trademark rights" to the name UCHI as it relates to restaurants. The lawsuit also asks for monetary damages, legal fee reimbusement and "an exclusive right" to use the trademark "UCHI."
Photo: Uchi Austin's logo (left), Uchi Japanese Restaurants' logo (right).